01 284 5544

Prepare Well

We want you to get the very best out your portrait studio session with us. Here, you will find some useful advice from twenty years of portrait expertise. This advice is based on the most frequent questions from our clients and some useful suggestions made to us by our clients. If you have any question which is not covered here, please email us or 'phone us directly.

PHOTOGENIC is open Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm. We're open late on Wednesday evenings until 8.30pm by appointment. Tuesday-Fridays only we may close for lunch 1.30pm - 2pm. PHOTOGENIC is closed on Sunday and Monday.

You can book your appointment at our studio by 'phoning 353 (0)1 284 5544. A booking fee is required to reserve your time in our studio's camera room, and with one of our photographers. Do book in advance for very specific dates like birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and communion days. Saturday is naturally a popular day for family portraits and tends to book up first, as do holidays and school mid-terms. *Please be sure to read our cancellation policy.

We look forward to taking care of you here in Dalkey, Dublin's loveliest heritage town.

Where do we begin...?

It's a good idea to visit the studio here in Dalkey before you make your booking, to have a brief consultation in person. Our walls display the different styles of finished portrait to inspire you, and you can expect us to create one of the styles from your own session. Seeing the choices available in advance is the very best way to "Prepare Well". You may decide to wear certain clothes or colours depending on which style appeals to you - and that is easier to do when you've planned in advance. We can discuss your ideas and schedule your Studio Portrait session appointment at a time that suits your family.

We take commissions with the expectation that you would like us to create at least one Custom Wall Portrait from your session. If you are happy to do this, then you should schedule your studio session.

The session is time we will spend creating the portraits in the studio for you. We allow about an hour, any less time can make the experience too intense, especially for younger children. Any longer and smiles can start to become 'fixed'. You can see in our portfolio, we like expressions to be as natural as possible. This may be your first ever portrait session with us. Or it could be one from a series of portraits we area creating for your changing and growing family. If you have no specific plans at the beginning, don't worry, we'll help you decide what's going to be best for you. Your portraits will be created in your choice between our black white or our colour work.

An hour's portrait session in the studio for an individual or family (parents and children) is €85. An hour's portrait session for an extended family (parents, children and grandchildren) or other large group is €150. An deposit on your Custom Wall portrait is due at the session. You may also like to avail of one of our all-inclusive packages which are detailed in our shop.

How do we choose our portraits?

At the end of your portrait session, you will be offered a viewing appointment to return and choose your portraits within a 21 days after your portrait session.

This is the time when you will be making important purchasing decisions about which images to frame for your walls, so the appointment will be made for a time when you can, if practicable, come to PHOTOGENIC without very young children, as they don't tend to enjoy this stage. You will view your images on a large TV here and so we will print and prepare only the portraits that you love the most.

The finished size and framing style choice is entirely your decision and an experienced PHOTOGENIC colleague will offer guidance to you. Since you have planned well, you will already know what style of portrait we have created and you'll have thought a little about where and how you would like to display your pieces, or who you would like to give gifts to. We have found that when you think about how your finished portraits will look, even before we have created them in the studio for you, we can help you to set a budget and keep within it. And we know you will be much happier with the result.

So now you sit back and choose your favourite photographs. The selection process is always an exciting, enjoyable, decision making time.

After you have chosen your favourite images we will get to work literally making each piece individually - from hand printing to custom framing. We bring your portraits to life and we do this using only the best materials, technicians and craftsmen.

What will we wear?

This is almost always the first question we're asked. Clothes do set the mood of a portrait - think of a communion or graduation portrait. Think of how you know the difference between a family group portrait taken at a wedding as opposed to one taken at a picnic from your own family album.

There are no 'rules' about what you should wear for your portrait. Your portrait should be whatever you want it to be - authentically you! There are some guidelines that can help if your want a particular style or mood of portrait and we do have some suggestions to help in this regard.

You might like to choose either formal or casual clothing for the family members. It's's a good idea not to have one person in jeans and runners while everyone else wears suits or vice versa. If you like the style where the overall look is light and white - white or pale tops, chinos or pale jeans, white background etc, then having one person in a striped top or black jeans may mean the portrait doesn't have the look and feel you had envisaged. Similarly, for a classic, low-light portrait - one where the faces and hands of the subjects are so important - we recommend darker colours and tones for your clothing and we create your portrait on a darker background.

Wear what you like and feel comfortable in too. It's not necessary to buy anything new or wear clothes you feel are out of character for your family.

If you would like colour portraits, then you need to think about how the colours you choose will look hanging on the wall in you home. Will the colours tone or clash with your décor (and does it matter) ? Strong colours will be very striking and will stand out. Pastel shades blend in and can also look well in most home décor environments. Black and white portraits emphasise tones, textures and contrasts. Choose simple clothing and avoid very strong patterns and big logos. Ask any of us when booking if you have any concerns about clothing - we have a lot of experience of advising clients with families in every age group.

What about make-up and hair for adults?

For women, get ready for your portrait session as you would if you were going out some place nice - hair the way you like it, some make-up and your favourite feel-good outfit will all help you relax and enjoy the session.

For men, the usual shave if you are clean-shaven and again your favourite smart casual clothes will ensure you look good and feel good in your portrait. Experience has shown us that parents often arrive with no intention of joining their children in their portrait. As the session progresses and is enjoyable, a decision is often made to 'jump in'. This is great because we love photographing families together. What isn't so good is having any regrets - we call them the '...if onlys' - "If only I'd worn X,Y or Z...." trust us on this one. It's always good to talk with us or visit for a consultation so we can help you get the very best from your session with us.

I was given a PHOTOGENIC Gift Voucher, what next?

Come & visit our studio and gallery and see the Custom Wall pieces on display in person. This will help you decide what style of our work you prefer, what size of Custom Wall Portrait you would like us to create and we can give you sound & practical advice which will help you get the very best out of your session with us.

At peak booking times like Christmas and school holidays we give priority to clients who are voucher holders so be sure to mention this when booking or enquiring.

Our vouchers are valid at face value indefinitely. Some gifts are time sensitive because they may be part of a particular programme like PHOTOGENIC Babies Month-by-Month or an offer like Rewarding Times. It's advisable to call us or email us about your voucher with us as soon as you receive it and check any time sensitive terms or bonuses.

Be sure to book in early for important occasions, birthdays or for that all-important generations family portrait.

What about portraits with very young children?

At PHOTOGENIC we have a particular reputation for our work with very young children & babies and we have experience of working with every age group (our youngest client was only four days old.) Toddlers rarely sit still for more that a few seconds at a time. Babies can be unpredictable about sleeping and feeding. Relax, we know all about children and we know how to engage even the youngest child long enough to capture their personality.

You need to do a little extra planning to help us make the portrait session go smoothly for you:

We are happy to photograph very young babies on their own or with their parents or older siblings. Experience tells us that we occasionally cannot safely and creatively photograph newborn babies being held by toddlers. We recommend you wait until your baby is sitting up well before planning a portrait with toddler siblings, if you don't plan to be included in the portraits with your children.


PHOTOGENIC is on the ground floor and every part of it is accessible for clients who are wheelchair users, clients with mobility concerns and clients who have children in buggies.

Cancellation Policy

The booking fee - payable at the time of any booking, or covered by your Gift Voucher - is refundable or transferable only with 7 days notice of cancellation for Saturdays or 48 hours for weekday bookings.



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Our Lastminute Offer is like being on a standby list for a flight - you can't book more than two days in advance, but if you can respond quickly, you get great value when you take up a Lastminute session appointment.

Available for Saturdays only, our emails go out on Wednesdays if we have an availability for the following weekend.

You will receive €175 bonus credit from us to spend when you book our €350 Portrait Special in response to a Lastminute email.

Terms : view within 21 days ; €175 bonus credit is for additional Gift Prints or Wall Portraits.

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